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The South is a great place for nurses who are just starting a career or beginning a new phase. Reasonably priced housing, moderate temperatures, and outstanding places to work are just some of the advantages to this region.


Affordable housing can be found throughout the South. The National Association of Home builders/ Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index shows that over 70% of the housing in several of the Southern communities they track is affordable to those earning the median family income for that area. It is also within reach of the median RN salary for the area. Some examples are Columbia, South Carolina: median family income, $58,100, RN annual salary, $50,750; Greenville, SC: $55, 900, $55,080; Greensboro-High Point, NC: $55,400, $49,670 and Fayetteville, NC, $46,500, $50,280.


More good news is that Magnet recognition for nursing service at facilities in the South is increasing, with some facilities earning redesignation, as well. To date, Alabama, Maryland, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia each have one Magnet facility; Kentucky and Louisiana, three; Georgia and Virginia, four; and North Carolina, eight. St. Joseph Hospital of Atlanta has held Magnet designation longer than any place else in the South. It was originally designated in November 1995, redesignated in May 2000, and again in May 2004.


Also, South Carolina has recently joined the list of 20 compact states, which means that an RN license issued in one of these states is recognized by the others without another licensure examination. Other compact states in the south are Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi.



Florida continues to see population gains in permanent residents and also those seeking a place in the sun during the snowy winter months up north. That means more permanent and seasonal nurses are needed here, as well.


The Sunshine State is the fourth most populated state, behind California, Texas, and New York. It is also the state with the nation's largest percentage of persons over age 65, and of these elderly, 39.5% have a disability. Although Florida has a large number of RNs, 21.7% of them are not employed in nursing, leaving only 763 employed nurses per 100,000 people, according to the government's preliminary findings from the March 2004 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses (NSSRN). The U.S. average is 825 per 100,000.


Florida has a diverse population, too, and the March 2004 NSSRN estimated that 9.3% of all foreign-educated nurses work in Florida, second behind California, where 25.5% of all foreign-educated nurses work.


On the other hand, California has only six of the American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) Magnet facilities. Florida, with one-half the population of California has 11.


The ANCC says Magnet designation is an important recognition of nurses' worth, a major factor in recruitment and retention and a competitive advantage for the facility, attracts other high-quality professionals, reinforces positive collaborations, and improves patient quality outcomes. For more information and links to the facilities, visit


Your Guide to Job Opportunities in the Southern States and Florida

Duke University Health System


Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina


(800) BE-A-NURS, (800-232-6877)


Fax: (919) 681-7397


Web site:


Florida Hospital Fish Memorial


1061 Medical Center Blvd.


Orange City, FL 32763


Contact: Recruiter


(800) 529-1077


Fax: (386) 917-5282


Web site:


Georgetown Hospital System


P.O. Drawer 1718


Georgetown, SC 29442


Contact: Human Resources


(843) 527-7165


Fax: (843) 520-7889




Web site:


Health First


1350 S. Hickory Street


Melbourne, FL 32901


Contact: Carolyn Powers, Staffing Manager


(866) 448-4347


Fax: (321) 434-8587




Web site:


Self Regional Healthcare


1325 Spring Street


Greenwood, SC 29646


Contact: Debra Metts, Recruitment Specialist


(864) 725-5005


Fax: (864) 725-4993




Web site:


Westside Regional Medical Center


8201 West Broward Blvd.


Plantation, FL 33324


Contact: Geoffrey Gegenfurtner, Nurse Recruiter


(954) 577-2416


Fax: (954) 452-2156




Web site: